The group calling themselves ‘Voice against Corruption’ today said that it was going to submit a Bill in Parliament to ensure the peoples’ right to information and said that the legal draft of it was being formulated by its lawyers.
“People have no access to information that would highlight the corruption and frauds committed by our politicians. Three COPE reports have been issued from 2011 but no one knows what action has been taken against those who are responsible with regard to the corruption mentioned in the COPE report. Even Parliament is not aware of that. We are formulating a legal draft at the moment and we are going to submit a Bill in Parliament to ensure the peoples’ right to information. We refuse to let the 2014 COPE report to also be neglected just as the previous ones,” Convener of the 'Voice against Corruption' Wasantha Samarasinghe told a news conference.
Mr. Samarasinghe said the legal draft of the Bill would be subjected to discussion in public forums and amongst intellectuals such as religious leaders, artistes and government servants before submitting it to Parliament. “We will invite members of COPE to participate in these forums so that they too can also share their thoughts on the Bill. We invite people who are concerned about corruption to participate in these forums and to put forward their suggestions. If Parliament makes an attempt to defeat such a Bill in Parliament, we will launch a struggle against it with the participation of people in all sections of the society,” he said.
The convener of VaC said that they were going to request COPE in writing to enforce the letter of the law against the culprits who were responsible for the corruption contained in the COPE report.
JVP Western Provincial Councillor, Sunil Watagala, said that the investigations into the complaint made by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) against Bribery Commission Chief Jagath De Silva Balapatabendi had been closed following an ex-parte investigation. “This clearly indicates the situation of the Bribery Commission. It has not even considered the existence of natural justice when investigating the complaint,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Sanath Desmond)